Need input - Part 2 - now upgraded to General Board!!! UGH!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Andy, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    H's mom called me. I figured it was to go over the plans the boys made for a sleepover tonight. Start out at our house, overnight at H's, than tommorrow morning to T's.

    We discussed the meal thing and she is fine with me cooking on Monday and the other days sending the boys home to eat. She talked about how H liked getting pop and chips over here. I told her that they do get pop (what 14 yr old is not allowed that?) but if that was a problem I can quit that as an option. They may get chips as a side to their meal but not to be snacking on the entire time. (actually, they all love the pudding and apple sauce) I told her that I was willing to work with her but I did want to be able to serve one meal. She is o.k. with this. Problem solved!

    Then, she said that I have to get difficult child to stop harrassing her son - making his life miserable at school - telling him that T can not go to the sleep over because T's mom will not let him play Black Ops (neither will H's mom let H play - no idea why H thought his mom would bring it out and hand it to the boys during the party but figured he could manipulate her if others were there) - suggesting that she leave her house when difficult child is there - disrespecting both H's and T's mom to H and T!

    She pretty much hit the roof when I told her that I do not use grounding and taking items away to punish/discipline when she told me that was the way to handle it. Just because I do not handle things the way she would, she thinks I am down playing the importance of this and that I am o.k. with difficult child doing this. I told her that I am not o.k. with difficult child behaving like this and that I will deal with it in my own way.

    I told her that difficult child does not need to go to the sleep over if he is in fact doing this and can stay away from H and T. Oh, no, they want to play with difficult child - they think difficult child is cool/fun but they don't know how to be his friend. (Why would she want her son to hang with difficult child if he is controlling and mean?)

    I talked to difficult child last night about the disrespecting and swearing and HE hit the roof. So ANGRY - says "Mom, they are the ones that swear!" "They are lying" "Now I will make their lives misearble for lying to H's mom" difficult child wanted to call H's mom up and put her straight. I told him that he was too angry to talk to anyone outside our home.

    I seriously think H is using difficult child to manipulate his mom. If he can get his mom's frustration focused on difficult child instead of on whatever he is pushing his mom for, then he has won. He doesn't want his mom confronting me about this (because he knows it is a lie) - his intention is not to get his mom to end it (because it is not going on) but to see him as a helpless victim that needs comforting and be given things to feel better. He can pretty much get his mom to give him anything if he says difficult child owns it. And if difficult child is allowed something than H's mom feels real pressure to allow H the same.

    I kept difficult child home from school today - he was so mad and did not feel he would be able to control his anger when he saw H today. I called and talked to the school counselor who agreed this would be o.k. to do. There is no school tomorrow or Tuesday. The counselor said it is usually best for parents not to get involved to which I replied that H needs to complain to someone other than his mom about difficult child because it is a he said/he said situation and I will back difficult child up unless shown proof otherwise - so will H's mom for him. I have heard H too often bullying and manipulating his mom to get her to let him have his way that I do not trust him. He has also admitted to lying to get his way. The counselor was going to check with the teachers to get more info on what they are seeing and get back to me. Hmm, he didn't call me back today - hopefully that is a good thing. (difficult child said he will find that all the teachers will agree that none of the boys use bad language. I know he will find that all these boys are great kids!).

    The counselor also agreed that lunch time is not supervised enough and that is were many problems arise (same with before school - too many kids in a large room and not enough supervision). However, on Tuesday, the supervision before school and at lunch time will be focused on this table to watch for stressful relations which I don't think they will find because the boys are enjoying themselves and don't get angry with each other. Apparently H is part of the give and take but using the take as blackmail to fit his needs.

    husband is angry that I didn't force difficult child to go to school but he was not home to help support that decision. I told the counselor that at this point it is a good thing for difficult child to recognize that backing away is a good option if he can only see backing away or punching someone in the face as his two options. He can then regroup and figure out how to address it when he is not so angry. I know difficult child will be ready on Tuesday to face these kids without violence in his mind.

    He so very seldom get upset these days. He is/has learned to handle his anger but this was a hard knock out of the blue. It threw him for a loop and he can not figure out why H is doing this. One guess is that H is upset that E and difficult child are such good friends and sometimes feels left out?

    The sleep over is still going on less difficult child. Interesting!!! A consolation to H from his mom for having to be harrassed by difficult child all day long at school? Hmmm H gets E to himself now (well T will be there but that isn't a battle).

    I am just glad that difficult child is peaceful tonight. He has decided to stay away from H. That if he doesn't see/talk with H then H can not make up lies about him. I was so expecting an evening of anger, bitterness, revengeful thinking - it is not there!!! I see that as a huge plus in difficult child learning how to deal with this.

    We will play board games in a little bit and perhaps discuss some more how to handle Tuesday!
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    easy child went through this with a classmate at about the same age. A bit younger, actually. And another young friend of mine has had the same sort of manipulation among her friends. It sounds like a combination of issues, beginning with "two's company, three's a crowd."

    The only solution is for the child to distance him/herself from the manipulative 'friend' because really, it is not true friendship. While ever the victimised child tries to stay friends, they are leaving themselves wide open to further exploitation, damage to reputation, hurt and anger. The manipulative friend - they do get theirs in the end, they grow up generally to be very dysfunctional, always trying to manipulate others. Various personality disorders can be seen in fledgling state, in such childhood manipulations.

    The 'friend' who was a problem for easy child, would insist on her friends paying her court. She would be kind, friendly, generous - but only if you did what she wanted. A common phrase was "We're not talking to easy child today, I don't like her today. So if you talk to easy child today, you can't be my friend. You want to be my friend, don't you?"
    And the child being addressed nods dumbly, knowing that if she stands up to the bully, she will also be on the hit list and find herself sitting alone in the school playground.

    In easy child's case, the bully has grown up to have a drug problem, to be promiscuous and not be able to stick at any one career path. I don't know a lot about what is really going on with her any more, only what I have seen and what her parents tell. To her parents, she is a good kid. They don't know about the sex and the drugs because her parents are very good at denial.

    Your son's best defence, sadly, is to accept loneliness for a while. Change friendships. Or at least, distance himself sufficiently form this boy so that he can't be used as the excuse any more.

    It's a horrible lesson, but frankly a valuable one if a kid has to go through it.

    easy child stood up to her bully. She also challenged her friends who did not. I remember one afternoon when this bully had organised a group bullying session of easy child on the school boat - she was telling me about it when she got home. Told me her good friend had sided with the bully, out of sheer cowardice. Then the phone rang - it as friend, apologising for siding with the bully, but she did it so the bully wouldn't target her. I listened in - easy child was friendly, but made her friend squirm. Went into calm detail about how it feels to have your friends desert you for someone who is fickle and nasty, and how it makes you doubt the sincerity of anything such friends ever say.

    Years later - if easy child meets her friend (the one who rang to apologise) they will chat, but she lost interest in her when she realised she would make choices based on what she felt safe with popularity-wise. If she meets bully - again she will be polite and friendly, but cool and a bit distant. She simply is not interested in someone who she considers beneath her.

    Also these days - easy child had to deal with a sociopath in the workplace. Her past experience led her to rapidly recognise the manipulation and put some strategies in place to report it and deal with it. She ended up leaving that job when it became apparent that the employers were not believing her. But she left, was not sacked (other staff members were sacked). A few months later, the sociopath was exposed, easy child's reputation and that of others were reinstated (mostly because of what easy child put in place with her paper trail) and the sociopath is blacklisted in that state and industry.

    Experience teaches. Not all experiences are positive. But the best lesson to take from this - difficult child is a good kid and he has standards he holds his friends to. And good friends will not abuse a friendship and not lie make a friend look bad just so they can selfishly get something out of it.

    Your mommy sense alerted you to this, told you something was not adding up. Now go back over it all in your head and think - what are the wider ramifications of this, the broader implications of what you have been observing? I suspect that the next few days are going to be full of little "aha" moments.

  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Gosh...what happened to the days when kids went out to play and the only time someone reported back to you was if there was blood involved?

    Maybe its because we live so far out from where this stuff is done but the only time anyone ever actually called me about an incident involving my boys and a playing thing, it was when Cory and his cousin were playing basketball and she got mad at him and picked up a log and hit him over the head with it. A neighbor had to rush him to the ER and I had to leave work. Took 16 staples to close the gash and as much as I didnt want to do it, the ER called the cops on his cousin. Ended up doing her a world of good though.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Good point, Janet. In past days, parents wouldn't have noticed this sort of problem very much. But today's helicopter parents...

  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I remember one time some little boy came to my door to tattle that Jamie said a cuss word. I replied "So F'ing what?" LOL. I think they were like 5. I hate tattletales. I knew good and well all those little kids in that apartment complex were out there cussing up a storm and they just wanted to see if they could get him in trouble.
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I'm not thrilled about tattlers, either. Interestingly, Jett used to tattle ALL. THE. TIME.

    It got to the point where I would look at him - "Are you bleeding?" "No." "Then you handle it."

    Now, there were times it was appropriate, such as the day the kids across the street hit him in the head with a branch. It was clear by the split, bleeding goose egg that something had happened. When I went across the street? Older child blamed younger, younger blamed older, they both started calling me names, and then (OOPS FOR THEM), their Dad came outside, which is what I was waiting for.

    But mostly, Jett and Onyxx tattle on each other to cover up that they were doing something wrong. And they hate that I can see through it - or I just shrug it off (depending on what happened). And then the tattler gets a lecture or grounded...
    H's mom sounds to me like she has a perfect kid and no one ever better mess with him. He's manipulating her... And it's working. I think difficult child not going to the sleepover is fine, sounds like keeping him home was good (normally I hate it when kids miss school, but sometimes...), and I'm glad he's calmer. Sigh...
  7. ML

    ML Guest

    This type of manipulation and head games has been going on forever and I agree it's our current era helicopter moms who really notice it. Thinking back to my childhood I remember friends playing games with me. Only with girls it's more of the "you can be our friend today if you do this or that"... I remember being "in" one day and "out" another. I also remember being mistreated and made fun of when I didn't play the games of whatever girl was in charge. There is a lot of damage that is done to our psyches during our younger years. I probably would have been better off to accept more lonliness.

    I'm sorry for difficult child and he's lucky to have you for a mom.
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    One of my friends who teaches 3rd grade had a huge problem with tattling so when a kid would come up to him to tattle, he'd ask them "Are you trying to get someone into trouble or out of danger?" then told them that it wasn't their job to get kids in trouble but that if someone was in danger, that it was good to tell. By the end of the year, he'd shortened it to "In or out?" and all of the kids got it.
  9. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Thank you everyone!!!

    I do agree that these two boys are old enough to work it out between themselves without parent involvement since they are friends. They have grown up as close neighbors and know each other pretty well. They have a sibling type relationship of love and hate.

    Tuesday will be interesting. I will let you know what happens.

    difficult child just won a M rated PS3 game from a machine which we took into a book store and sold for cash toward Magic cards. He texted H saying that he would have given it to him if he had not lied. Sigh, shakes head, rolls eyes - but sometimes when parents don't get involved the results are much better.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    THAT, I like. Good for him...
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Oh, Andy, your boy really gets it. Good for him. Tuesday will be interesting...

    I also agree about sometimes choosing to be lonelier in childhood being healthier.

    i had a lonely childhood. I was also at times physically beaten up by girls at my school, often in the presence of teachers who were too scared to intervene. I had to go and make a complaint - just having a teacher see it was not enough. When I complained, action was take. I then copped reprisals. I complained again. More action was taken. Eventually all my bullies were either suspended, expelled or got the message. But it left scars.

    I get on well with people these days. Of course there are always a few who are a hassle, or who are nice to my face and are horrible behind my back. Or there are the occasional people who are rude to my face. But they are rare.

    The funny thing these days is - I meet people, I talk to them - and part of me wonders, "Who were you as a kid? Were you the sort who would have beaten me up? Were you the one who sided with the bullies out of fear? Were you part of the gang that smoked in the toilets and verbally abused anyone who came in to use them legitimately? Or were you the girl who would have been my friend, if only we had met?"

    I am more reserved these days and far less dependent on friendships to get by. I have good friends and I know they are people I would have been friends with in school. It is interesting - there are other people I am friends with, who I know I would never have trusted when we were in school. And I don't trust them now, either, to not stab me in the back if they decide it is in their interests to do so.

    My experiences were harsh but I learned a lot that helps me now. I also was better placed to help my kids when this happened to them. It happens to all kids, we all cop it. It is how we learn to handle it as kids, that sets the framework for how we manage lifelong as adults.

    Give difficult child a hug for me, tell him his board aunty is very proud of his strong sense of right and wrong, and his choice to not compromise. He will be able to value that later in life - he just took a very large step along the right path.